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  • Stefan Schödel

5 REASONS WHY WE AS CHURCH DO NOT BAPTIZE AT A LAKE

In the context of Sunday services, I cannot recommend the classic, free church baptism at the lake. You can find out my reasons for this in this article.

First of all: baptism at a lake or in a river is of course highly biblical. None other than Jesus himself laid the foundation for today's Christian baptism in the Jordan. I too have been able to baptize other people in lakes, rivers or simply in my bathtub. And I don't want to miss a single one of them. Nevertheless: In the context of Sunday services, I cannot recommend the classic, free church baptism at the lake. Below are the four most important arguments.


#1: Your Guests

There is something wonderful when your Sunday services are geared towards guests and they are actually there. The task of allowing them to take part in further community life afterwards is a little more demanding. Of course, as directors, we never tire of inviting our guests particularly warmly. Especially when the annual baptism at the lake is due.

„It's also only 15 minutes by car. And there is parking nearby. It's going to be really strong!“

But especially for (first-time) visitors, taking part in what feels like an “internal” family celebration is one step too many to start with. Often neither the time nor the effort was taken into account when planning Sundays. And when in doubt, it is important to stay in your comfort zone. All in all, experience has shown that most guests are simply left behind when they change locations.


#2: Manpower

Unfortunately, once the congregation has reached a certain size, it is no longer as easy and simple as the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. After all, everyone should be able to hear the testimony and see baptism. So speakers are needed. And a bit of praise at the start wouldn't be bad either, the whole thing is supposed to be festive. Already you need someone for the sound. He would then be grateful for a short sound check and so on... In the end, a whole construction team has to be organized. But this turns out to be more difficult than expected, since the otherwise so committed students without public transport connections still organize themselves in carpooling opportunities.


#3: Familys & Seniors

Ever thought about rough terrain and toilets on your favorite river? If not, your church may have very few honorable members or families with children. Otherwise, these are topics that are relevant for baptisms on a lake or river. Steep embankments, the new 1000 euro stroller paired with muddy paths and missing or dirty toilets can unfortunately keep your little ones from having such a great experience.


#4: Weather Prayers

Yes, the lovely weather. Admittedly pretty predictable in summer months with any weather app. This trust is not really relaxed, after all, the expensive technology is not really weatherproof. And there should always be a plan B. In the truest sense of the word, only the “storm prayer” helps when there is even a threat of storm clouds. At the end of the successful day, however, it would have been a little less stressful.

„Good that we only do this once a year“

Someone may have thought that before. Understandable and sad at the same time. After all, our next christening shouldn't stick like a lump in your throat.


#5: Postponed is sometimes cancelled

A final thought: If there is another, "usual" alternative service in addition to an annual baptism at the lake, e.g. in the dark season, some people are actually inclined to postpone their baptism "until next summer". It's so nice and warm there and the photos are better. But we don't want the christening to be a big event where everything has to be right down to the last detail. And if the great-uncle doesn't have time, then we'll postpone for another year? No, if the heart is ready, everything should go as quickly as possible. What I want to say is: If the congregation offers baptism in the same setting over and over again, more people will be baptised. Because who knows what will happen in five months' time? Unfortunately, postponed is sometimes cancelled.


Conclusion

Especially the so-called adult or believer's baptism is a strong testimony and extremely powerful for everyone involved. People who could choose all sorts of options today make a conscious decision to live with Jesus. Our concern is to bring the evangelistic sign of baptism as close as possible to the congregation and visitors. The smallest hurdle is when there are none at all. We therefore recommend that the baptism be carried out directly in or at the on-site service. We have had fantastic experiences with it over the past few years. And there is now a suitable solution to safely carry out the baptism on site :)


If you want to learn more about our vision and mission behind the brand, be sure to read our blog article Revival through more baptisms.



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